Operation Ezra

Operation Ezra was launched in Winnipeg in March 2015 with two objectives - to increase general awareness about the plight of the Yazidi people in the Middle East, and to raise $35,000 for the sponsorship of a Yazidi refugee family to Winnipeg.

Who Are the Yazidis?

 

The Yazidis are a monotheistic ethnic community with ancient roots and their own distinct religion and culture. They hail mostly from Iraq; however, they no longer have a homeland. They are a severely persecuted minority, targeted for annihilation by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Many are languishing in refugee camps where they are subjected not only to prejudice but to violence.

More on Operation Ezra 

 

By the summer of 2015, Operation Ezra had raised that $35,000 and more, and grown into a Jewish community-wide initiative embracing dozens of volunteers and donors, as well as the support of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Jewish Child and Family Service and Congregation Shaarey Zedek. 

 

In the ensuing months, Operation Ezra extended its reach even further, evolving into a coalition of 24 Winnipeg-based multi-faith organizations and small Yazidi community, numbering approximately 250 has been established in Winnipeg.

 

Not only do Jewish people share the experience of historical prejudice and genocidal persecution with the Yazidis, but we also have a deep understanding of the difficulties that are endemic to settlement in a new country. Our communities share a keen desire to be a part of Canada in every sense as contributing members of a strong and democratic society. The plight of the Yazidis was brought to the attention of the Jewish and general communities of Winnipeg during a program organized by Winnipeg Friends of Israel. This important initiative is one that the larger Jewish and general communities have now embraced under the name “Operation Ezra” – “Operation ‘Help’. Jewish Child and Family Service and the Jewish Federation are pleased to share their experience and expertise with resettlement.

Yazidi Healing Farm 

 

The Yazidi Healing Farm is in full production, with close to 10 acres of land being farmed by many of Winnipeg's Yazidi families. The main purpose of the project is to give the Yazidi community the opportunity to provide food for their families, and a place to gather and be together as a community.

How You Can Help!

 

Many individuals and organizations have also rallied to the cause and become stakeholders in the Yazidi initiative: The Mennonite Central Committee Winnipeg Friends of Israel, Manitoba Multifaith Council, Congregation Etz Chayim, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Sharon Home, Inc., Chevra Mishnayes Synagogue, National Council of Jewish Women, Camp Massad, Calvary Temple, Bridges for Peace, Herzliya Synagogue, Pembina Mennonite Fellowship Church, Rady Jewish Community Centre, Gray Academy of Jewish Education, and Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. 

 

An initiative such as this, to help rescue and resettle a horribly persecuted minority is one we can all take great pride in. If you would like to support this rescue operation, please consider donating to Operation Ezra today. 

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